18 Jun 2011


On Friday morning we were picked up by a little bus and the guide from our travel agency to take us for our first organized sightseeing tour.

It turned out that we were the only once the other French speaking people had cancelled their trip because apparently they had celebrated their holidays too much and were tired had a hangover. That was real nice because our guide, a young man who spoke very good French had more time to answer our questions and also show us other things than on a usual sightseeing tour.

He first took us to the Blue Mosque

There were many people from all over the world with their guides who had the same idea and we had to line up to get in the mosque. Fortunately it went quite quickly

Everybody had to take the shoes off and the women who didn't have a scarf got a scarf from this lady. Men wearing shorts had to tie the scarf around their shorts. I thought they are quiet uneducated because they wouldn't go to church at home in shorts either !

After having admired the wonderful artwork of the mosque we sat there and our guide took a picture from us with the mosque behind.

From there we went to the ancient mosque Mosque Aya Sofya which had been an orthodox church before and is now a museum. Amazing to see this transformation from a church to a mosque ! There were beautiful mosaic works.

The huge marble vase is a lustration urn. It is carved from single blocks of marble.

It took quiet some time until we had finished to admire all this beauty and we were quiet hungry when we came out.

Our guide went with us to the entry of the big "Bazar" which we will visit another day, because we also wanted to sit down. So we said good bye to him, and rushed through the bazar

Here is entrance or exit (it depends on your direction of course) n° 1 and we had to go out at n° 7. There we found a typical Turkish Snack and had a Durum, a very thin crepe, filled with roasted chicken, vegetables and a delicious sauce and then presented like a roll. It was delicious ! the price too, we payed 2 € (1.40 $) per roll !

The rest of the day we spent at the "beach" i.e. on the roof of our hotel with fake grass, nice beach beds and also used the swimming pool. It's so funny to be on the 6th floor, overlook the whole city with all the mosques and take a sunbath !


Jo said...

What a lovely tour you shared with us, Gattina. It's unreal for me to read about mosques where you're allowed to enter (non-Muslim men, and especially women!) In Khartoum, it was a no-no although I heard there were one or two mosques where you could go with a guided tour. I love the look of the Durum. I'm sure they'd have vegetarian options. Price was very good too. In Nairobi this week I paid KES350/US$5 for a cheese tart which was dry and almost choked me. One cup of herbal tea (delicious and refreshing) was KES170/US$2.30! Have a wonderful day from your rooftop view! (((Hugs))) Jo

Linens and Royals said...

I have heard of the Blue Mosque, must have been very exciting to see inside. Your virtual friends are enjoying the trip with you.
It was most likely Australian men wearing shorts, they wear shorts everywhere so would have had to borrow a scarf.

Trotter said...

Hi Gattina! Too windy to go to the beach; better surf the Net... ;)
Wonderful Istanbul... Hopefully, we'll be back in September, though for a short stay...
And what about the tapestry shop at the end of the tour? ;))

Blogtrotter Two is waiting for you in Corsica... Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!!

Maribeth said...

What a lovely day! I also like those rolls. I had them in Turkey as well as Berlin.

Whisppy said...

Those are lovely pictures! The Blue Mosque looks very interesting. I feel like I'm at Istanbul with you!

Kay L. Davies said...

What a beautiful place, Gattina. Your pictures are wonderful, and your lunch looks great!
We visited a mosque in Casablanca, but I was wearing a long skirt, and had a scarf to wear on my head. I made sure Dick was dressed properly but comfortably. It is the least we can do to honor someone else's religion.
Luv — K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

A Lady's Life said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful day.
As for wearing shorts it doesn't matter
They also tell women not to go in if they are on their menstrual cycle.
Angelina jolie didn't wear a burka in syria and women driving cars in burkas, drive even though their vision is distorted.Its all much ado about nothing. God doesn;t care what you wear. He borned us naked.lol

Pondside said...

What a great trip you've had. I love the idea of the 'beach' at the end of the day.